Former Black Cap Chris Cairns speaks for first time following life-saving emergency surgery

Publish Date
Monday, 20 September 2021, 5:15PM

Former Black Cap Chris Cairns has taken to social media to update fans on his condition after he suffered a stroke in his spine during surgery.

The 51-year-old collapsed after suffering a massive heart attack last month in Canberra - resulting in an aortic dissection, which is when a tear occurs in the inner layer of the body's main artery.

He was then rushed to a specialist hospital in Sydney for emergency life-saving heart surgery, during which he suffered a stroke in his spine, resulting in paralysis in his legs.

But now the cricket legend is ready to tackle the greatest challenge he has ever faced as he begins rehabilitation.

"Just over six weeks ago I suffered a type A aortic dissection, which essentially means there's a tear in one of the major arteries of the heart," Cairns told fans in a video.

"I had several surgeries and grafts and, very thankfully, the specialists were able to save the heart itself.

"One of the complications that arose was a spinal stroke, which in itself will provide me with possibly the greatest challenge I've ever faced in rehab going forward."

Cairns thanked fans for the "uplifting, humble and special" messages he had been sent in the last six weeks and paid particular tribute to those who had treated him.

"A huge thanks to the team here in Canberra, at Canberra hospital, to St Vincent's in Sydney, the surgeons, the doctors, the nurses, the specialists - you saved my life. Thanks also for all the well wishes that have been sent through to my wife Mel and I."

Cairns said he would continue to post and keep fans updated on the rigorous journey he was about to begin.

Cairns, the son of Black Cap legend Lance Cairns, was a right-hand batsman and fast-medium bowler. He is known as one of the finest all-rounders of his generation.

Cairns played 62 test matches, 215 one day internationals and two T20s for New Zealand between 1989 and 2006. He went on to become a commentator with Sky Sport.

Cairns has been living and working in Canberra with his wife Mel and their children for several years.